28 Feb 2023 3:56 PM GMT
The National Green Tribunal, Pune has issued notice to the Maharashtra government in an application challenging the temperature of incineration provided in its tender for installation of incinerators for sanitary pads in 9,940 schools in the State.Schedule II of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 provides for a minimum temperature of 950 degree Celsius in an incinerator. It also...
The National Green Tribunal, Pune has issued notice to the Maharashtra government in an application challenging the temperature of incineration provided in its tender for installation of incinerators for sanitary pads in 9,940 schools in the State.
Schedule II of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 provides for a minimum temperature of 950 degree Celsius in an incinerator. It also stipulates use of a twin chamber incinerator, in which the waste is burned in the primary chamber and the gas produced from this (flue gas) is treated in the second chamber.
State's tender is silent on any condition requiring twin chamber incinerators. It also stipulates temperature of incineration to be 800oC.
A bench of Justice (Retd.) Dinesh Kumar Singh and Expert Member Dr. Vijay Kulkarni observed –
“We find that substantial question pertaining to environment is made out in the present case. Therefore, we admit this application in view of the fact that the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 provide for all the facilities in twin chambers which shall be designed to achieve a minimum temperature of 950oC while in the tender conditions, it has been recorded that the burning temperature should be 800oC”.
The application contends that the disposal of sanitary pads without treating the fumes and gases or treating it below 950 degree Celsius would cause environmental hazard.
“Without dual chambers, the treatment of fumes or gases not possible and the gases will released directly from the burning of sanitary pads without any treatment in the environment”, according to the application.
According to the application, there’s a hazard of release of gases like dioxins and furans which are harmful to environment and human health when incineration occurs at a low temperature.
Thus, the applicant has sought modification of the tender condition in line with the Standard of Incineration given in the 2016 Rules.
The court noted that the application would become infructuous if the tender is finalized. It directed the applicant to provide copies of the Original and the Interlocutory Applications to the State within a week and posted the matter for further consideration on March 16, 2023.
Earlier this month, the Bombay High Court had dismissed a startup’s writ petition seeking relaxation of certain conditions in the tender.
Advocates Vaibhav Kulkarni and Ruturaj Bathe represented the applicant.
Case no. – Original Application No. 16 of 2023 (WZ)
Case Title – Alka Sunil Kale v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.